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View Poll Results: How about another fantasy setting?

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  • IF it's something completely new. Don't need more of the same Thank You.

    7 11.86%
  • I like having SOME of the standard stuff in there, but you need to bring SOMETHING new to the table.

    28 47.46%
  • I don't want or need ANY new fantasy setting Thank You.

    3 5.08%
  • If I find it interesting, maybe. Otherwise, I don't care.

    21 35.59%
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Thread: What Tropes are Tired in Fantasy?

  1. #1
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    How about a new fantasy setting?

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    Also adding a poll to gather broader ideas.

    What tropes and ideas are you tired of seeing in a fantasy setting? Or perhaps you're not tired of them at all?

    What kinds of things would you like to see in a fantasy setting?

    I appreciate your opinions!

    RULES: Please don't suggest another system or setting that fits any of the wants here. I really want to see what people here WANT as I am doing research for my own possible work.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by trechriron; 09-30-2009 at 05:19 PM.
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
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    All of them.

    That said, don't stop. Because something is tired does not mean it cannot be presented in a fresh new way. It is said that there are five plots in the world. It is not the plot you use, but how you present it and the characters that makes the story.

    Yes, every trope has been used and reused, that is why they are tropes. However, that doesn't mean they cannot be used again, they are tropes.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    I agree. I like the same old thing, but with a twist or presented in a new way.
    Q: How many Call of Cthulhu players does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: All of them, because you never, EVER split the party!

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change, and the weaponry to make the difference.

  4. #4
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    Bringing in something new, a twist, whatever, so as to set it apart from other fantasy games is all you need. I do this with my games and it works great.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
    Once you know what the magician knows, it's not magick. It's a 'tool of Creation'. -Archmagus H.H.
    The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. - Meridjet

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    There is the train of thought that nothing in fiction is new. Really at this point it is how you make it your own with whatever angle you use.

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    Every fictional setting, and every scenario, will incorporate familiar tropes. However, I think mainstream FRPGs have been in thrall to Tolkien far too long. At the very least, introduce different tropes, such as Conanesque Swords & Sorcery, different cultural bases, different approaches to magic (as opposed to the standard point & chant), etc.

    (Yes, there are games that do one or more of these, but far too few.)
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    What tropes are tried in Fantasy?

    That has always been there.
    Elves keep their counsel and sharpen their ears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    Every fictional setting, and every scenario, will incorporate familiar tropes. However, I think mainstream FRPGs have been in thrall to Tolkien far too long. At the very least, introduce different tropes, such as Conanesque Swords & Sorcery, different cultural bases, different approaches to magic (as opposed to the standard point & chant), etc.

    (Yes, there are games that do one or more of these, but far too few.)
    This. Somewhat ironic, given Gary Gygax's sentiments towards Tolkien's work, though, heh.

    Personally, I'd like to see "Good v. Evil" and/or "quasi-medieval Europe" go by the wayside. Or subverted. A lot. (A fantasy western would be to die for~ Desperadoes & Dragons, anyone?)

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    i like the idea of modernism mixed with fantasy. Or instead of arthurian/medieval dated setting, go with ancient egypt or native american tribe cultures.

    The tropes (never heard the term, but I think I got the gist of what it is) I hold firm to are character archetypes. The warrior, the magician, the healer, etc...
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    To those not familiar with the idea of tropes, get thee to TV Tropes, which covers far more than TV.

    If I were to list the main subversions of tropes I prefer to play with, I'd include the following:

    Cultures instead of "races" Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies does a good job of this. As with aliens in SF, I'm a firm believer that if your "race" is simply humans with a cultural quirk, just make them human. A while back (maybe on the old board) I explored how to do stock fantasy races as human cultures. If I can't find it, I might rewrite it.

    Traditional magic instead of point-and-chant "spells" I've ranted about this before. As examples, check out John Kim's essays on Magic in Roleplaying and the way magic works in Pendragon (except 4th edition), Issaries' HeroQuest, Mage, and Call of Cthulhu. I'm a big fan of magic as elaborate hours-long ritual, as many real-world traditions define it.

    No always evil (or always good) races/cultures/countries In real life, no group of people has a monopoly on heroes or villains. An entire country or species of psychopaths simply isn't viable, and a country of saints stretches belief. As a corollary, I'm sick of "ugly/dark = bad, pretty/light = good". To combat the trend, I attempted to run a campaign where the heroes were civilized orcs (sort of), and humans were both antagonists and helpers.

    I also wish I did more with non-European cultures, but I'm not as well versed in their history. I do try to play with religions and power structures, e.g. a monotheist theocracy blending elements of the Abrahamic religions.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    To those not familiar with the idea of tropes, get thee to TV Tropes, which covers far more than TV.

    If I were to list the main subversions of tropes I prefer to play with, I'd include the following:

    Cultures instead of "races" Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies does a good job of this. As with aliens in SF, I'm a firm believer that if your "race" is simply humans with a cultural quirk, just make them human. A while back (maybe on the old board) I explored how to do stock fantasy races as human cultures. If I can't find it, I might rewrite it.

    Traditional magic instead of point-and-chant "spells" I've ranted about this before. As examples, check out John Kim's essays on Magic in Roleplaying and the way magic works in Pendragon (except 4th edition), Issaries' HeroQuest, Mage, and Call of Cthulhu. I'm a big fan of magic as elaborate hours-long ritual, as many real-world traditions define it.

    No always evil (or always good) races/cultures/countries In real life, no group of people has a monopoly on heroes or villains. An entire country or species of psychopaths simply isn't viable, and a country of saints stretches belief. As a corollary, I'm sick of "ugly/dark = bad, pretty/light = good". To combat the trend, I attempted to run a campaign where the heroes were civilized orcs (sort of), and humans were both antagonists and helpers.

    I also wish I did more with non-European cultures, but I'm not as well versed in their history. I do try to play with religions and power structures, e.g. a monotheist theocracy blending elements of the Abrahamic religions.
    with regards to the race/culture statement. I feel like I have played in a system where they did just that. Like celtic tribes were hardier, but less well-mannered resulting in a bonus to Constitution (or whatever the game's equivalent was) and a penalty to charisma. I wish I could remember what game it was.

    As for your alignment statement, I agree.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    trope

     /troʊp/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [trohp] Show IPA ,Use trope in a Sentence

    See web results for trope

    See images of trope

    –noun 1. Rhetoric. a. any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense. b. an instance of this. Compare figure of speech. 2. a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish. 3. (in the philosophy of Santayana) the principle of organization according to which matter moves to form an object during the various stages of its existence.

    Origin:
    1525–35; < L tropus figure in rhetoric < Gk trópos turn, turning, turn or figure of speech, akin to trépein to turn

    WARNING!!! --
    The Following link will eat your brain, suck your time away and likely cause swine flu, -- WARNING!!!

    Also TV Tropes is a good explanation by example.
    Last edited by tesral; 10-01-2009 at 04:27 PM.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yukonhorror View Post
    ... Like celtic tribes were hardier, but less well-mannered resulting in a bonus to Constitution (or whatever the game's equivalent was) and a penalty to charisma.
    I'm not sure this is a good model, either, despite the long-standing gaming tradition. The base criterion for the Charisma-type penalty - mannerisms - is wholly bound to a specific culture, and rather variable *within* that same culture, as well, if we're going for a realistic view. Might be better to treat the nuances of cross-cultural interactions as a situational modifier, rather than base stat adjustments.

    If they're even important, that is, which could very well not be the case. Not all systems track things equally.

    (Of course, that could just be the anthropologist in me. Biological determinism and its ilk are, in short, some of the more controversial theories in the discipline, heh.)

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    I made my DnD campaign different by including technological progression. A dwarven kingdom has this loud noisy ranged weapon called a Holy Iron of Moradin (is that how you spell their diety?) that shoots a lead ball by igniting flashpowder in a barrel.

    It's a musket, in other words. I intent to give one to a player.
    I am the very model of a nineteenth cent’ry historian, I have information Lincoln, Polk, Jacksonian. When it comes to US battles I am very full of trivia, From Montezuma to the shores Algeria. Roosevelt I envy for his awesomeness, Coolidge I disdain for his shamefulness. My forte urban and Michiganian, I am the very model of a nineteenth cent’ry historian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sascha View Post
    I'm not sure this is a good model, either, despite the long-standing gaming tradition. The base criterion for the Charisma-type penalty - mannerisms - is wholly bound to a specific culture, and rather variable *within* that same culture, as well, if we're going for a realistic view. Might be better to treat the nuances of cross-cultural interactions as a situational modifier, rather than base stat adjustments.

    If they're even important, that is, which could very well not be the case. Not all systems track things equally.

    (Of course, that could just be the anthropologist in me. Biological determinism and its ilk are, in short, some of the more controversial theories in the discipline, heh.)
    I do have to agree however. I dislike modifiers to base states based on culture. A situational modifier at best.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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